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Abnormal Psychology Notes Week 3

by: Ashlyn Masters

Abnormal Psychology Notes Week 3 PSYC 3560

Marketplace > Auburn University > Psychlogy > PSYC 3560 > Abnormal Psychology Notes Week 3
Ashlyn Masters

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These notes cover the rest of anxiety disorders. Because class was cancelled on 2/4, mood disorders were not covered. Notes on this topic as well as any other things that should be known for the ex...
Abnormal Psychology
Dr. Fix
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ashlyn Masters on Friday February 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 3560 at Auburn University taught by Dr. Fix in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 20 views. For similar materials see Abnormal Psychology in Psychlogy at Auburn University.


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Date Created: 02/05/16
Anxiety Disorders (continued notes from Week 2) 2/2/16 Panic Disorder • Panic Disorder: recurrent panic attacks that “come out of the blue” AND fears of having additional panic attacks • Agoraphobia: fear of situations in which escape might be difficult if you have a panic attack (or other embarrassing symptoms) • Panic attack: a discrete period of intense fear in which 4 of the following symptoms develop abruptly and peak within 10 minutes o Palpitations of pounding heart o Sweating o Trembling or shaking o Shortness of breath o Feelings of choking o Chest pain or discomfort o Nausea or abdominal distress o Feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or faint o Derealization or depersonalization o Fear of losing control o Fear of dying o Dumbness of tingling sensations o Chills or hot flashes • Timing of a first panic attack o Frequently follows feelings of stress or highly stressful life circumstance o Many adults with a single panic attack do not develop panic disorder o Heart attack concerns § Many people feel like they’re having a heart attack and think they need to go to the ER and they’re dying. When this happens, it can actually cause the individual to freak themselves out enough that they do end up in the ER • Agoraphobia: anxiety about being in places from which escape might be difficult/embarrassing, or in which help may not be available in the event of a panic attack (or other embarrassing symptoms) o Situations are avoided or endured with distress or a panic attack o Common situations: crowds, theaters, malls, parking lots, cars, bridges, standing in line, elevators, planes, home alone • Lifetime Prevalence of panic disorder is about 5% o Gender ratio § 2:1 (female to male) o Comorbidity (about 83%) § Other anxiety disorders, substance use disorders § 50%-70% major depression o Age of onset: early adulthood o Course § Chronic and often disabling § Symptoms can wax and wane • Causal Factors of panic disorder o Psychological § Cognitive Theory (plus hypersensitivity) § Pill/placebo effect § Anxiety sensitivity § Perceived control § Safety behaviors (e.g., carrying around pills) § Cognitive biases that maintain (notice minor bodily sensations) • Panic Disorder- Treatment o Medications § Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin) § Antidepressants (Tricyclics and SSRIs) o Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (Panic Control Treatment) § Exposure Therapy- panic attacks, external stimuli for agoraphobia § Cognitive Restructuring Generalized Anxiety Disorders • Generalized Anxiety Disorders: characterized by excessive and unreasonable anxiety or worry about many different aspects of life o Core fear: everything (really characterized by worry) o Prevalence: 3% in any 1-year period, 6% lifetime o Course: tends to be chronic o Gender differences: 2:1 ratio (female to male) o Age of onset: varies o Comorbidity: other anxiety or mood disorders • Causal Factors (Psychological) o Perceptions of uncontrollability and unpredictability o The role of worry § Belief that worry is a good thing o Worry (cognitive) reduces physiological symptoms o However, in creases the sense of danger and anxiety o Cognitive biases for threat • Treatment o Medications § Benzodiazepines: may relieve physical, but not cognitive, symptoms § Antidepressants: help cognitive symptoms o Cognitive-behavioral treatment § Muscle relaxation § Cognitive-restructuring Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder § Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: characterized by the recurrence of unwanted and intrusive obsessive thoughts or distressing images; often accompanied by compulsive behaviors to cope with such thoughts o Obsessions: recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses or images that are intrusive and inappropriate and cause marked anxiety or distress § Not simple excessive worries about real-life problems § Attempts to ignore, suppress, or neutralize them § Recognition they are a product of own mind (different from psychotic thoughts) § Common obsessions: contamination fears, fears of harming oneself or others, pathological doubt, need for symmetry, sexual obsessions, religious obsessions o Compulsions: repetitive behaviors or mental acts that drive an individual to perform acts in response to an obsession and can be 15 minutes to hours long § Aimed at preventing or reducing distress or some dreaded event or situations § Common compulsions: cleaning, checking, repeating, ordering/arranging, counting o Prevalence: 1-2% (lifetime and 1-year) o Gender differences: 1.4 to 1 ratio (female to male) o Age of onset: late adolescence/early adulthood o Course: gradual onset, tends to be chronic, symptom severity waxes and wants o Comorbidity: frequently co-occurs with other mood and anxiety disorders, elevated rates of divorce and unemployment • Causal Factors • Treatment o Behavioral and Cognitive-Behavioral § Exposure and response prevention • Very intense for clients, high drop out rates • Studies suggest 50-70% reduction in symptoms • 75% maintain gains long term o Medication § Medications that affect serotonin systems (SSRIs) • Minor improvements in symptoms, but many non- responders, when discontinued, symptom relapse is very high Body Dysmorphic Disorder • Body Dysmorphic Disorder: characterized by obsessions about some perceived or imagined flaw or flaws in one’s appearance to the point one firmly believes one is disfigured or ugly (like Michael Jackson) o Most common imagined defects: head hair, body hair, beard growth o Associated features § Typically focused on a specific body part § Compulsive checking behaviors common § Avoidance of activities § Reassurance of activities § Reassurance seeking § Comparing self to others obsessively § Engagement in activities to cover up their perceived flaw (e.g., excessive grooming, makeup) o VERY IMPAIRING DISORDER o Prevalence: 1-2% of general population o Gender ratio: men = women o Age of onset: usually adolescence o Comorbidity: high rates of comorbid depression (50%), suicidal behavior, relationship to eating disorders, OCD, psychosis


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